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Do rural placements mean students stay rural?

There is no denying that UCRH’s rural placements offer a unique experience and that students love their time in the Northern Rivers. But does it help us to develop the rural health workforce? Recent data from our Grafton campus shows the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

Of the 23 new graduate positions in nursing employed at Grafton Base and Maclean hospitals in 2023, 85% of them completed student placements with UCRH in 2022 or 2023 at one or both of the hospitals. In year to date, the 2024 figures are looking just as promising with around 86% of those being employed as new graduate nurses being UCRH alumni.

We place hundreds of students every year from universities across Australia in all major health fields and the results we are seeing from Grafton are no anomaly, as many of our students return to work in rural areas while all of them develop a better understanding of the specific needs of rural communities.

When undertaking a placement with us, we make sure students enjoy an immersive educational experience in our stunning region. We offer a thorough program of lectures, workshops and learning opportunities designed to enhance each student’s home university‚Äôs education program and to help develop in them a multidisciplinary approach to health care. Our Interprofessional Education is rich and varied and our Aboriginal Health Education program provides incredible insight and grounding for students.

Of course our BeConnected Social Program is always popular and effective in helping students meet and connect with others while on placement.

Our experience is that by bringing students from all health fields to the Northern Rivers, we can instill in them a connection to community and love of rural life that does translate to a willingness to stay rural.

Congratulations to the fantastic group of new nurses employed at Grafton Base and Maclean Hospital who all undertook UCRH student placements at Grafton (far top) and Maclean hospitals (above).